Abandoned but Abundant

Abandoned but Abundant

These days you can’t go two posts on the internet without running into someone posting “I’ve lost my faith in humanity”. And just when you think there is no hope for mankind, you encounter someone who not just reinstates the faith but starkly questions your own life choices. I feel immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with someone who has made a true impact in the world. It’s critical to note that these people who make a real difference aren’t all privileged, advantaged or “special” by any stretch. They are around us, come from average families, similar circumstances/backgrounds and initially limited capabilities, but have found ways to pick themselves up and rise above their circumstances to transform the lives of those around them.

One of these individuals, who is instrumental to my direct access to this storyline is Murali. I have been in touch with Murali for the past few years via a bond that is inexplainable but can be termed as an affectionate bonding over genuineness. Over this time, I have been lucky to get a perspective of the level of commitment and perseverance he and his associates have shown for the cause of rehabilitation of children affected by HIV. They have been associated with this cause, incessantly working towards the betterment, raising funds, spending actual time and ensuring a well-rounded development for the kids for a few years and I have seen this take the shape of Krishnagiri. It is a labour of love because the home is fortified not just by walls and amenities but encapsulates the true essence of a “home”. On one fateful day, I even got a chance to visit Krishnagiri – the land of the ‘Abandoned but Abundant’.

I did not realise that as I walked through the gates of Krishnagiri, I was opening floodgates to my heart that would resonate feelings and positivity that would stay with me for life. We met all the children who proudly showed us their “home” and we heard them lovingly refer to Murali as “Äppa” – a connection that was not forged by any genes but you could almost feel the vibrations of love within them all.

One notably heart-warming incident was when we all sat down to eat the graciously served nutritious lunch – several children came and offered us food from their own plates – which we later understood was a loving yet testing act – to check whether we the outsiders (or visitors) were equally equipped with the true acceptance and beliefs which were the foundations of Krishnagiri. I think we managed to stay true and the simple adoration that followed later was simply a testimony to that.

Murali told us about the journeys of the children who in the past were severely stigmatised and their physical health wasted away so badly due to severe malnourishment that it promoted more opportunistic infection; some had escaped torture by their guardians. And indeed, all were affected and reeling from trauma or pain and in dire need of help. Their past had definitely soured and scarred their psyche and all they sought was pure acceptance. Even though we understood that while the fate of the children born likewise could be turned towards a longer and healthier life span by monetary means, their integration into society is far from trouble-free and a much more profound subject. It is necessary to ensure that the children are able to lead independent lives, without judgements and discriminations and are made aware of their rights and accepted wholeheartedly in the society. All of these are issues that the associates at Krishnagiri are constantly addressing.

Of course, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. So, do what you can, where you are with what you have, because, one kind word, one sentence of truth, one demonstration of courage and one act of kindness, all hold within them the power to set a chain of events that can change our world.

– Sonia Joshi

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